Blackjack Hand Signals and Gestures – Play Like a Pro
When you’re playing blackjack online, you’re simply pushing the control buttons or tapping on your device’s screen to issue different commands.
But, when playing this game in a real casino setting, the blackjack hand signals are a major part of the overall experience.
As blackjack is a very simple and easy-to-learn casino game, the blackjack signals you can learn are also not very complex and complicated.
Still, you need to make sure you’re giving the right blackjack signs for your situation and doing so in the proper manner.
To help you make sure of this, we’ll guide you through all of the blackjack hand gestures you can make when playing this exciting game.
Why It’s Important to Know Hand Signals for Blackjack
Besides using blackjack signs to look cooler, you should know that these signals serve many important purposes.
They are an essential part of the game for a good reason, and it’s always best when more players use them at the table. There are several significant reasons why blackjack signs are vital.
The first is that these signs help protect both the casino and the players. Modern casinos have tons of cameras set all around their venue, including above the blackjack table.
These cameras can’t record sound, so there’s no evidence of what the players or blackjack dealers are saying during the game.
However, when the players are making hand signals, the camera can pick up on all of this and provide valuable evidence in case of a dispute.
For example, if you think that the dealer has wronged you by misinterpreting your decision, you can request the manager to pull up the tape, where you can transparently see the footage and have proof for your claims.
The second major reason is that using blackjack signs helps speed up the game.
Once you get familiarized with the blackjack hand signals, you’ll see just how much faster the gameplay can be as opposed to when players are verbally announcing their decisions.
So much so that you might even find it frustrating after some time when you notice players misusing these signs or verbally declaring their intentions.
Lastly, using hand signals also makes the job easier for the dealer. As the dealers are always naturally focused on the cards in front of you, they can conveniently see when you signal to them what you want to do.
Blackjack Hand Signs – The Complete Rundown
Knowing why blackjack signs are so important, we can move to the key part of this guide, and that is learning how to use each of the featured signs in this game.
While they might seem hard to remember at first, they are fairly basic. With just a bit of practice, you’ll master each of them without much effort.
Additionally, we want to highlight that there are hand signaling differences that depend on the variation. More precisely, your hand signals will vary based on whether you’re playing a face-up or face-down blackjack version.
Face-up blackjack games are those in which both you and the dealer are dealt two cards facing up.
This makes it different in nature from a standard blackjack variation, in which both the dealer and the players get one face-up card and one face-down card.
On the other hand, face-down blackjack is any game of 21 in which you’re dealt both cards facing down. The rules and strategies are very similar to those in face-up blackjack, although there are some differences when it comes to the hand signals.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at each of the available blackjack hand signs and discuss them in more detail:
Hitting is the main gameplay option of blackjack. It’s the action of requesting additional cards to your hand. The hitting hand signals for face-up and face-down blackjack games differ.
To hit during a face-down blackjack game, you need to scrape your cards on the table to indicate you want another card. Contrarily, if you’re playing a face-up blackjack variation, you simply need to tap the table with your finger every time you want a new card.
The commonly accepted rule is to tap with your index finger. That said, some casinos accept tapping with either the index finger or the middle finger or both fingers.
If you’re satisfied with your hand and don’t want to change anything, you can simply stand. This effectively ends the round on your part, and all you have to do is see what the dealer’s hand for the round is.
Just like when hitting, the signal to stand is different depending on whether you’re playing a face-up or face-down blackjack game.
If you’re playing the latter type, you need to slide your face-down cards underneath your chip stack. It’s key to remember that you should do this as gently as possible and not move any chips while sliding your cards.
On the other hand, if you’re playing a face-up blackjack variation, the hand gesture is even more straightforward. All you need to do is wave your open hand over your cards to signal to the dealer that you don’t want any more cards.
A double-down move in blackjack is when you want to double your initial bet and get just one additional card from the dealer, making a three-card hand in total.
The signals for this decision are the same for all face-up and face-down blackjack variations. However, if you’re playing a face-down game, you’ll need to turn your cards over before you double down your bet.
The double-down blackjack signal is very simple. You first need to place additional chips outside the betting box on the table, beside your original bet.
After that, just point to the chips with your index finger to gesture to the dealer that you want to double down on your initial bet.
When playing blackjack, in some cases, you’ll receive a hand with two identically-valued cards. In such situations, you’ll have the option to split your hand into two separate hands you’ll play with two separate wagers.
When you split a hand, you need to place an additional bet of equal size to your initial bet. The dealer then splits your cards and adds one more card to each of the two hands.
The signal to split your hand is the same in face-up and face-down blackjack. The only difference is that you need to turn your cards face-up in the latter variations.
To gesture that you want to split a pair, you simply put your index and middle finger into a V-shape above your cards.
You can use the blackjack surrender hand signal after the deal. This option is an excellent choice if you think you have almost no winning chances and don’t want to continue with the particular hand.
When you surrender, you get to keep half of your initial stake instead of losing all of it just for staying in the game until the end of the round.
Unlike the previous four blackjack gameplay decisions, most blackjack experts consider that there’s no standard sign or rule on how to signal blackjack surrender. Because of this, players are encouraged to verbally announce their intentions.
Still, there is a move you can do while you’re verbally announcing your surrender. This is to draw an imaginary line from left to right with your index finger. This move applies to both face-up and face-down blackjack variations.
Lastly, some blackjack variations also offer you the opportunity to take insurance. This is a side bet that’s only available when the dealer is showing a face-up Ace card.
The insurance bet is always equal to your original bet and pays out even money if the dealer has a blackjack. But, if the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack and still has a stronger hand than you, you can lose both of your bets.
Like the surrender option, there aren’t any widely accepted hand signals for taking insurance. Moreover, there aren’t any signals you can use, as this is an option you always verbally announce to the dealer.
Memorized the Signs? – It’s Time to Play!
If you’ve learned all of the blackjack hand signs we’ve shared with you in this guide, you’re ready to start playing blackjack in a real land-based casino.
Granted, there are only five blackjack hand signals you need to remember, but they will go a long way at presenting you as a skilled player who knows their way around the table.
Of course, if you’re still unsure of how well you’ll manage using these signs, don’t shy away from asking more experienced players or the dealer for additional pointers.
Lastly, you can also verbally announce your decisions while making the proper hand gestures.
This is a great way to practice your blackjack hand signaling skills without mixing them up, as the dealer will correct you if they feel that you’ve given an unclear signal.